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New materials and cell designs for cleaner and more energy efficient production of aluminium in year 2000


Primary aluminium production is characterised by high-energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases, e.g. CO2 and per fluorinated carbons (CF4 and C2F6). In order to improve the present smelting process, the objectives of this project are to reduce energy consumption by 20 %, to eliminate emissions of CO2 and perfluorinated carbons, and to extend cell life by 3050 % by using non consumable, metallic anodes and aluminium wet table, TiB2 coated, inclined cathodes ("drained mode") in new cell designs. The technical and economic feasibility of the no consumable anodes and the TiB2 coating will be investigated on an industrial scale. The long term stability of the anodes and sufficiently low impurity levels in the electro won aluminium have to be demonstrated in industrial cells with TiB2 coated, drained cathodes. During the project, the new materials will be tested in 150 160 kA industrial cells for periods, varying between 6 and 12 months. The new technology will also be tested in modified, commercial cells to demonstrate that it can be adapted to existing smelters (retrofitting).

A successful completion of the project will yield the following results: A TiB2 based, aluminium wet table cathode coating, which is abrasion resistant, reduces sodium penetration and can be easily applied to carbon cathodes of any shape or design. Prototypes of and method to manufacture industrialise, non-consumable anodes Design, construction and operation of new industrial cells with drained TiB2coated cathodes and / or non-consumable, metallic anodes. This project brings together four organisations from different European countries in one consortium, consisting of a manufacturer (HER), an aluminium producer (HOOG), a research organisation (ENEA) and a technology developer (MOL), to realise these goals.

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Heraeus Elektrochemie GmbH
EU contribution
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63450 Hanau

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Participants (3)